All hikers, long-distance runners and endurance athletes know that food and getting the right nutrition is one of the key players when hitting the trails. Sophia and Mike are enthusiastic trail runners and vegetarians, who did really well this year at Ultravasan 90 km and Höga Kusten 43 km.
Who needs meat when you have this delicious Lentil Bolognese?
"The general guidelines when it comes to sports nutrition are the same whether you eat a plant-based or an omnivorous diet - carbohydrates make up the primary energy source for the first 1-2 hours of movement, and then the fat reserves start to kick in - unless you supply your body with additional carbohydrates, in the shape of e.g. sports beverage, gels etc.
Protein is primarily used for muscle building and acts as an important part in recovery, but isn’t much involved during activity.
Thus, the days leading up to a bigger endurance undertaking, making sure you get enough (and preferably even a little extra) carbohydrates is important, since it’ll provide you with maximum glycogen (the form in which carbohydrates are stored in the body) reserves come the day of the long run, hike, race or any other type of strenuous adventure.
Carbohydrates come in abundance in plants, making this an easy task for anyone plant-based: pasta, bread, potatoes, root vegetables, and legumes are all great sources of carbohydrates, loaded with energy as well as tons of micronutrients. You can add a little extra with every meal, but be a little careful with too much fiber. Close to the big day out, excessive fiber intake might be a little risky, because it simply gives the digestive system a little too much to work with.
For dinner the night before a long race, Mike and I usually go for pasta or potatoes, with sautéed veggies and beans to go with it.
Simple Potato Salad with Lentilsgives plenty of good carbs and proteins before the race >
We find that a small-ish amount of beans - despite its fiber content - works really well for us, but a tip is to always try out your “game plan” a few times before it’s showtime! We tried a few different ways of eating before regular long runs in preparation for our first ultra (Ultravasan 90k in Sweden), and felt comfortable with everything already beforehand.
So to sum it up: add little extra carbohydrates a few days before the long undertaking, and choose foods your stomach is used to. A mix of grains and legumes gets you a complete essential amino acid profile too, leaving nothing to worry about.
We like to make sure all meals have a clear carb source the week of a race - always e.g. potatoes, pasta, or wheat berries on the plate - and also like to throw in some slices of yummy bread for good measure. Hummus sandwiches or tacos of different kinds will forever be favorites around here."
On Live Slow Run Far blog, you’ll find plant-based and eco-friendly recipes, as well as posts about our running, vegetable garden and downshifted lifestyle on an island in the archipelago of Stockholm, Sweden.
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